The Australian Industry Group has revealed its true colours on climate, raising serious doubts about whether it has a genuine interest in cutting emissions in Victoria—or any other jurisdiction for that matter.
In a press statement released on Thursday 13 June, the Australian Industry Group gloats about Queensland's approval of a groundwater licence for the controversial Adani coal mine. At no time have the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples given their free, prior, and informed consent for the project.
According to the AiG's Shane Rodgers, "...sanity has finally prevailed in the decision-making process on the Adani mine."
It is a well known fact that the Adani coal mine represents a "carbon bomb" that would accelerate climate change and leave Australian communities exposed to intensifying impacts.
Sanity is choosing a safe climate where humans can continue to exist and thrive.— 💧Pat Simons (@prrsimons) June 13, 2019
Insanity is pretending business as usual is any way acceptable. https://t.co/Y8D1tDhYPJ
If built, the average annual emissions from burning the coal from Adani mine would be a whopping 79 megatonnes—which represents 69 percent of Victoria's annual emissions.
Research from The Australia Institute featured in The Guardian puts the impact of the Adani mine into perspective:
"[79 million tonnes of CO2] is more than the annual emissions from Sri Lanka, more than Bangladesh with its population of 160 million, about the same as those from Malaysia and Austria and only slightly less than the annual emissions from Vietnam."
"Compared to annual emissions from cities, it says Carmichael’s emissions will be three times the average annual emissions from New Delhi, double those from Tokyo, six times those of Amsterdam and 20 percent more than New York City."
"Australian Climate Roundtable" member r̶e̶a̶f̶f̶i̶r̶m̶ ̶i̶t̶s̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶m̶i̶t̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶f̶o̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶v̶i̶t̶a̶l̶ ̶i̶s̶s̶u̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶c̶l̶i̶m̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶e̶n̶e̶r̶g̶y̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶n̶s̶i̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ pleased to Adani approval. 👍👍👍 https://t.co/xvJOqtXvVK— Dylan McConnell (@dylanjmcconnell) June 13, 2019
"Seeing an Australian Industry Group representative gloating about the Adani approval shows they are not a stakeholder with a genuine interest in tackling the climate crisis," said Leigh Ewbank of Friends of the Earth.
"It raises serious doubts about whether the AiG has a genuine interest in cutting emissions in Victoria."
The Australian Industry Group's comments come just a week after the Combet Report presenting recommendations on emissions cuts was tabled in the Victorian Parliament. The comments from an AiG representative are a major embarrassment to Chief Executive Innes Willox and its members.
"With communities such as Inverloch and Apollo Bay sounding the alarm about the impact of rising sea levels, being flippant about the climate impact of the Adani mine is a bad look," said Leigh Ewbank.
"The AiG will have to publicly commit to supporting science-based Emissions Reduction Targets if it wants to be taken seriously by Victorian Minister for Climate Change—who has undertaken a fact finding trip to the Bass Coast—as well as other stakeholders and the community more broadly."
The Victorian state government has signed the Paris Pledge for Action to limit global warming to well below 2.C as well as the Climate Leadership Declaration to limit warming to 1.5C.
Friends of the Earth will be paying close attention to AiG and other big polluters as the Victorian Labor government makes a decision about the state's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets.